Friday, May 9, 2014

Ryan Vogelsong & Field of Dreams: the Power of Believing in Someone

There are many reasons to love the movie "Field of Dreams." For one, there's the sheer magic of a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield. It's so beautiful that it has all of us wondering "Is it heaven?" (Good for the Iowa tourism board for continuing to use that slogan). No doubt. I will remain ever grateful that I made the trek to Dyersville, Iowa. I set my own eyes on the hallowed ground reaffirming why we refer to a baseball field as a "diamond."
Based on a great book, Shoeless Joe Jackson by W. P. Kinsella
Furthermore, "Field of Dreams" integrates fact and fiction; Shoeless Joe Jackson and seven other Chicago White Sox ballplayers—banned from the game for throwing the 1919 World Series—reappear as ghosts in the field that Ray Kinsella is commanded to build. The Black Sox broke a lot of hearts—Chicago fans are loyal—and this team could be one of the best that never was.

But I've always thought an unappreciated component of this spiritual story is the relationship between Ray and his wife Annie. She knows that Ray is hearing voices. "If you build it..." She understands he must set out on a and follow this dream. In short, she believes in him. 
Ray and his daughter can see the ghosts; eventually Annie does...
I think believing in someone—truly believing in them—is one of the greatest things we can do for one another person. To believe in someone is to know their true self, to know what they are capable of doing, and what gets them out of bed in the morning. Often times we don't even know what is within our reach. Thank God for those people who help us to realize the gifts, talents, abilities and more that may become our destiny.

It is in that context that the words of  San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong caught my attention. Vogey had a losing record of 4-6 last year and was sidelined due to injury for a fractured hand. At 37 years of age, Giants fan often wonder what he has left.

I write tonight because it's hard not to be excited about the answer to that. His ERA is 0.89, he pitched 7 1/3 innings in last night's game and had a solid stand up double. 
Quickly becoming many people's favorite Giant....hard not to like this guy
His take on things: “A lot of my focus is not to prove people wrong, but to prove people right that believe in me,” Vogelsong said. “I know there are certain people that had a big say in me coming back this year and I want to do right by them. There were people that wanted me back and people that didn’t. I want to reward the people who believed in me.”

He's exactly right. Anyone can be a nay-sayer. The world is already full of people to tell us we are not good enough—and a thousand more variations of that sentiment. But, there are those nutty, crazy, loving, kind and good hearted people who are different. They do the simplest thing in the world: believe. It's time we all proved them right. 

I have a lurking suspicion that my Mother's Day posting will thank those who #32 mentioned...

Photo Credits
Ray & Annie

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